Bowls: Mitchell shows his quality in Carrick Knowe triumph

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KEY man Colin Mitchell led Carrick Knowe to an impressive 4-1 home win over Colinton as they boosted their bid to retain the Scotmid-sponsored Water of Leith 1st Sixteen League title.

Mitchell – the record 14-times champion of Carrick Knowe – thrilled the home support with a typically attacking display that resulted in him skipping Kevin Tennant, Robert Mitchell, and Johnny Priestley to a massive 30-shot victory.

Alan Milne was the unfortunate Colinton skip on the end of a 34-4 hiding that was quickly signalled by an opening blitz of 2, 7, 3, then Mitchell and Co answered the loss of a single with reply of 1, 1, 3, 3 to stand 20-1 up after eight ends.

“The rapidly unfolding events on Colin’s rink served as a tremendous boost to the rest of us as it promised to secure the extra bonus point for best aggregate,” said colleague Richard Tough later.

Tough also made a winning contribution but it was later in coming as he was being held at 8-8 after 11 ends before delivering a devastating 3, 2, 2, 2, 5 acceleration to skip Chris Crawford, Colin Tough, and Craig Aitken into a 22-8 lead.

Tough and Aitken – both soon to contest the British Isles Fours Championship and therefore being spoken of as surprise omissions from the Hamilton Trophy plans of Edinburgh & Leith – finally delivered a 22-11 win over Brian Davies. Colinton arrived at Carrick Knowe facing a daunting task against last year’s champions but buoyed by a great 4-1 home win over title contenders Bainfield in their previous match.

And they managed to inflict some pain on the hosts when, in a dramatic clash with James Hogg, the rink of Ewan Gibson, Ross Byers, John Fisher and David Fisher emerged 26-20 victors. An away win that didn’t look at all on the cards when Hogg and his rink of Rab Hush, John Mitchell, and Graham Pringle carded a super 6 at the first end then encored that count on the third end to lead 12-4. Hogg and Co continued to hold all the aces at 15-4 up but found themselves trumped by a brilliant 3, 1, 6, 4 revival that saw them crossed 18-15. Flushed with that success, Fisher went on to secure a point for the visitors. Colinton came close to taking a second point from the reigning champions but at 14-13 up playing the last, their rink skipped by Gary MacDonald conceded two shots to Andy Beath, Stephen Pringle, Ian McKenna, and Darren Hush. Hush was the hero for the home side as he tipped the scales for a 15-14 win with a brilliant last bowl draw.

Currie have made the hottest start to the league campaign however and their latest 4-1 home win over Gorgie Mills sees them top the table by ½ a point from Carrick Knowe..